Just when you think things might be approaching semi-normality in the Trump White House, things happen to blow any semblance of normality out of the proverbial water.
Not that, from this seat, things have been completely normal since Trump was inaugurated, but there have been times of lesser uproar. Prior to last Tuesday, things were in a bit of a lull, by Trump standards.
So, perhaps Trump felt a need to spice things up and that’s why he fired FBI Director James Comey. Oh, he may say that it was Comey’s decisions he made during the Hillary Clinton email uproar late last year, but is anyone really naïve enough to believe that?
Doesn’t anyone else see it as interesting that reasoning flies directly in the face of what Trump’s feeling were about Comey’s role in the Clinton affair during the campaign or that Trump’s dismissal of Comey comes while he is in charge of an investigation that could implicate campaign advisers of the president or even Trump himself?
And how about Jeff Sessions’ role in the whole Comey affair? Assistant Attorney General Andrew McCabe’s recommendation – however trumped-up (no pun intended) it may have been – that Comey should be dismissed went through Sessions, who had, weeks before, recused himself from the investigation into any Russian contacts. So how is him playing any part in the recommendation a recusal?
When it comes to this whole series of investigations into any Trump associates’ connections with the Russians, we should demand that there be no funny business. Why? Because it is not funny.
If the Russians played pals with the Trump campaign and had any role in changing the outcome of our election, they will likely do it again and have probably already tried. In France. Where they failed.
While that’s a good thing, that doesn’t really help our situation in the U.S. where Trump locks out American media allowing only Russian media in to take photographs of him meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The president is fond of referring to the mainstream media as fake news. Well, what about Pravda?
And later in the week, Trump trotted out the idea of doing away completely with his administration’s daily briefings of the media, proposing instead that the media be briefed once every couple of weeks by the president himself.
I guess that’s one way to get Sean Spicer off of Saturday Night Live.
All jokes aside, the presidential daily press briefings are a long-standing tradition of the White House as well as an expectation of the media that covers the president. To do away with those briefings would be yet another whack by the Trump administration at one of our fundamental rights. No, the Constitution gives the media – and, as a result, you and me – no expressed right to hear from the White House daily. But tradition does and when you cut back on traditions tied to rights, you cut back on those rights.
Can you imagine our media being left out in the cold for a two-week period during some of the crises and questionable actions we’ve seen thus far in the Trump presidency? And when Trump says two weeks, how do we know that might not turn into two months? Or six months? Or his shutting the media down from asking questions of the administration altogether?
No, these are not even semi-normal times.
They are scary ones.